The Council Offices - 1968

The Council Offices that were built on Argents Mead, Hinckley in 1968.

council offices hinckley
The official opening of Hinckley Council Offices.

1948 Miss Margery Payne gifted Argents Mead to the Hinckley Urban District Council, within the grounds was St.Marys Vicarage which was also gifted.

April 1959 The new Council Offices were first proposed, it was suggested that the present offices could expand into The Library and at a later date could occupy the Old Vicarage.

Eventually a new building was proposed.

Sir John Brown of A.E.Henson & partners (117 Sloane Street, London) was commissioned to design the new offices of the Hinckley Urban District Council. The proposal was a three-storey, concrete-framed and concrete-clad building, with a projecting wing ending in an elliptical council chamber. The contractors for the planned work were J.Parnell & Son Ltd of Rugby. The total cost of the building, with included the roads, car parks, furniture, fees, etc came to £373,500, this did not include the purchase of the site.

17th July 1968 The new council offices were formally opened by Lord Geoffrey Fisher of Lambeth who was the former Archbishop of Canterbury.

The new building had been planned in two sections, which one was forming the main office block, while the other was the Council Chamber block. They were joined by a link which was on the ground floor and also serves as the collection and rates offices. The first floor provides the Ante Room leading to the Council Chamber.

The main office building is 120 feet long and faced south, there is a basement and three storeys above it. The frame of the building is made up from a reinforced concrete frame, and is faced with reconstructed Portland stone panels and the window frames were made from aluminium.

The Council Chamber was made in an elliptical plan which is on the North side of the building and faced out to Argents Mead. The room below the Council Chamber (known as Argent Hall) had a seating capacity 150 which was a suitable venue for public meetings, lectures, exhibitions, etc.

The main entrance hall to the office building rose through two floors with a gallery at the first floor level, which connected the wings on each side. The floor was paved with buff terrazzo tiles and the wall opposite the entrance doors that contained the main lift to all floors were covered with Petro marble, which was cream in colour with a brown grain.

council offices hinckley
The Hinckley Council Offices.

The Council Chamber was accessed via the first floor level, the seating had been arranged for the Chairman of the Council and 43 Councillors and officers. The Chairman's desk was on a raised dais, a panel of Rosso Levanto marble was behind. A Coat of Arms coloured heraldically was directly above. The windows were at a high level and the walls are panelled to a height of 10 feet, they had strips of Nigerian Pearwood of concave section for acoustical reasons. The ceiling was painted in pale blue with a suspended centre porting in which the lighting was concealed. The desks were finished in mahogany and he chairs upholstered in brown cirrus. The Public Gallery was entered via the second floor, it had brown cirrus upholstered seating for 60 people.

In the Civic Suite on the first floor were two Committee Rooms which one had enough seating for 24 people and the other for 12 people. The larger Committee Room had the walls panelled in a light brown Agba and the other in Elm, both had furniture to match the panelling and the floors were close-carpeted in blue.

Near to the Committee Rooms was the Chairman's Room and retiring rooms for the members, which was furnished with settees and easy chairs which were decorated in light colours. On the right of the entrance hall was the Treasurers Department and to the left was the Health Department.

The Clerk's Department was on the first floor, the Surveryors Department, the Staff Room, Canteen and the Caretakers flat were on the second floor.

The basement contained Strong Rooms, Stores, Boiler Room and Fuel Stores. The building was heated by using a low pressure hot water system that was pumped from coal-fired boilers. Also within the basement was a Civil Defence Area Control Centre along with a Weights and Measurers office.

1974 The offices became the home of the newly constituted Hinckley and Bosworth Borough Council.

29th November 2013 The Hinckley Hub (the replacement for the Council Offices) was officially opened at the Junction of Rugby Road and Hawley Road.

March 2014 The Council Offices were demolished with AR Demolition Ltd of Nuneaton carrying out the work.

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